Also known as the Midnight Fridge Raid—which may induce Fridge Logic. A common occurrence in American sitcoms and other comedy shows is to have some character get up in the middle of the night in order to have a snack. This may be due to the character being a Big Eater, or being on a diet and attempting to cheat on it without anyone noticing. Sometimes two or more people will have the same idea. May either be a plot point or a Running Gag.
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Anime and Manga
- In Kanon, Makota does this once. Yuuichi sneaks up behind her and drops some konnyaku down the back of her pajamas.
- In the second season of Sailor Moon, Luna catches Usagi sitting in front of the open fridge in the middle of the night. She has half the contents on the floor around her and is binge eating straight from the containers. The entire scene was due to her break up with Mamoru.
- In Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure Mitsuki catches Kazuki and Dr. Sanada eating instant noodles at midnight and saying that they just need some of it once in a while. She forces them to eat a full meal she cooks ont he spot.
- Ouran High School Host Club: Honey likes to have midnight snacks of MULTIPLE ENTIRE CAKES.
- Magic: The Gathering card Volrath's Motion Sensor: http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=9753
- In Richie Rich, Mr. Rich sneaks into the kitchen at night, picks the locks his wife has put on the fridge, opens the door and reaches for the food, only to find that she's installed a force field on the inside, preventing him from touching anything until breakfast time. He spends the remainder of the night sitting in front of the open fridge, staring mournfully at the food.
- In the Archie Comics feature Li'l Jinx, Charley goes on a strict diet, supervised by his friend Greg, but each weigh-in reveals he hasn't lost any weight. Charley invites Greg to spend an entire day watching him, to prove that he isn't cheating. Greg observes that Charley is indeed following the diet religiously. However, that night, staying over at his friend's, he awakes to find Charley raiding the fridge and eating in his sleep.
- In Strangers in Paradise, Francine, stressed over her best friend and roommate Katchoo's secretive behaviour, fixes a so-called "milkshake" as a midnight snack. It is, in fact, an enormous tub of ice cream with lots of milk and chocolate syrup poured in.
Katchoo: Francine, that's not a milkshake, that's a commitment.
- Donald Duck was once found of these while sleepwalking and every morning he believed the food was eaten by his nephews and wouldn't listen to them. After a failed attempt to wake him up during a raid, they sought for medical help. Donald followed them to the doctor and told them his side of the facts. The doctor then suggested him to pull a prank to make them unable to deny their fridge-raiding. Pour on the food a drug that made the users' faces green. When it was Donald and not the nephews who had a green face, Donald finally realized he was the one eating the food.
- In issue 5 of the new Ms Marvel the heroine has to raid the fridge at night after a failed rescue attempt because her powers drain her life force. For her misfortune her family also noticed and concluded that she must have sneaked out while grounded, so she got even more grounded forever.
- Jimmy's dad does this in the Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius movie. Right before all the adults in the town are abducted.
- Poltergeist. Late at night while everyone is dozing off one of the paranormal researchers goes to the kitchen to get something to eat, including a steak and chicken leg from the fridge. He gets a lot more than he was expecting.
- Maruti of The Return of Hanuman had a Midnight Snack after he had a bad dream that he's not allowed to eat anymore. But since he's an extreme Big Eater, not only he finished the whole fridge, he ate all of the village's food supply.
- In A Brother's Price, Jerin has been hiding in his room from the female visitors all day, had no opportunity to eat much, and, at midnight, decides to raid the kitchen. He meets Ren, who seduces him right there, and then sneaks back to his room ... without having eaten anything. And no, Ren doesn't count
- In Right Ho, Jeeves, the gourmand Tuppy Glossop has been fighting with his vegetarian fiancée Angela. Bertie advises him to pretend not to be hungry at dinner, so Angela will think he is pining over her—and then nip down to the kitchen while everyone's asleep and have some steak-and-kidney pie. Unfortunately, though, what with one thing and another the entire household ends up coming down to the kitchen at midnight. Angela uses the midnight snack as even further evidence of Tuppy's gluttony, and he doesn't even get time to eat it.
- It's mentioned in the Discworld books (specifically, Mort) that it is a universal law that any pantry raided furtively in the middle of the night will inevitably contain half a jar of mayonnaise and an elderly tomato, regardless of its normal daytime contents.
- "Somnambulistic Nibbles" is a recognised mealtime at Unseen University. Catering staff are specifically employed to deal with midnight snacks for wizards - a goodly proportion of whom may actually be sleepwalking at the time.
- A common tradition in Enid Blyton's Boarding School series, such as Malory Towers and St C Lares is to have the girls sneak out of their dorms to have a midnight party, usually to celebrate someone's birthday.
- Warbreaker: After Siri gets closer to her husband Susebron the God King, they start having dinner in bed at around midnight. The first time they do this, a large amount of food arrives in minutes. Siri is shocked to realize that the palace chefs had prepared the food ahead of time. Susebron has never requested dinner at this hour before, which means that they've been constantly preparing full-course meals for decades, just in case he happens to get peckish at any random time.
Live Action TV
- The Golden Girls used to do this all the time, favoring cheesecake.
- Kaamelott: Karadoc does this pretty much every night, the rest of the cast occasionally. In one episode, he's forbidden from entering the kitchen by Lady Seli, as they need the food for the upcoming diplomatic meeting and feast. He retaliates by sneaking in early and emptying the cupboards.
- Seinfeld: At a vacation house in the Hamptons, Jerry's girlfriend goes to sneak some leftover lobster, though it goes against her religion. Fortunately for her, Kramer anticipated it, and is waiting there to intervene. Unfortunately for her, the next morning George laces her eggs with lobster out of vengeance for her telling his girlfriend about his "shrinkage".
- Former Brazilian TV show "TV Pirata" had one sketch where someone is caught and arrested during a Midnight Snack. The Miranda Warning (which became known in Brazil thanks to shows imported from the US) was altered to "Everything you eat might be used against you in court". At the trial the defendant is offered a pie and asked to swear to eat the half, only the half and nothing but the half. Translating into Portuguese, "half" becomes "metade" and "truth" becomes "verdade".
- Nigella Lawson is famous for having this at the end of her cooking programs. When she was featured as a guest in the 8th Season of MasterChef Australia, she came by the contestants' dormitory with Matt Preston to wake 3 of the hopeful contenders for the Immunity Pin and have them cook some midnight snack for her.
- In Everybody Loves Raymond, Frank Barone actually sleepwalks down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. Being Frank, he still returns an empty bottle to the fridge after drinking from it - one of Marie's pet hates. He competely ignores Debra, who has broken into the house in the middle of the night to steal one of Marie's recipes and who is amazed she has not been discovered.
- The subject of one of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz recordings called "Hunger is From." A sample:
have you ever been hungry in the middle of the night?that happens to me sometimesand then i go raid the iceboxfor example, the other night i did thatwe had some leftover welsh rarebiti found that and a couple crackerspiece of celeryand an olive and isat down in the middle of the nighti was very, very...hungry
- Dagwood is probably the Trope Codifier.
- Garfield does this often.
- Snoopy would often decide he wanted a midnight snack when he had trouble sleeping. However, because he slept outside in his doghouse, he would have to bang on the door to be let in. Charlie Brown was rarely sympathetic to this.
- One The Far Side strip has a couple coming downstairs to discover to their relief the noises they had been hearing are just "Kevin" engaging in this, Kevin being a nine-foot-tall horned monster. Another strip has a man's own stomach thwarting his dieting attempts by sprouting legs and going on midnight fridge raids.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, Twilight Sparkle is staying up late during a sleepover, still trying to come up with a counterspell, when Sunset Shimmer walks in on her as she goes to the fridge. The girls end up having a little heart-to-heart conversation instead.
- A classic Tom and Jerry short is called "The Midnight Snack".
- Homer Simpson, of course. One night, he ate 64 slices of American cheese (and went blind). Another time, he ate a piece of doughnut... which was promised to him by Satan in exchange for his soul.
- In the "Suds" episode of Spongebob Squarepants Spongebob is unable to sleep, so he decides to treat himself with a seanut butter and jelly sandwich, allegedly the best hypnotic in the sea. He takes one bite, then falls like a brick.
- There was a board game called "Don't Wake Daddy" where the players were kids sneaking for a snack in the middle of the night. Landing on squares that made noise forced the player to press the button on Daddy's alarm clock. If he woke up, your piece went back to start.
- Amy Sedaris advises alcoholics and lonely ice cream eaters to "rotate your stores," because cashiers notice when the same person comes in at one a.m. every night and makes the same telltale purchase.